Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reductio ad Absurdum

So...I just learned a new Latin term today, thanks to the Classic Liberal, whose post on social justice I just read is one of the most elaquent explanations of the flawed redistribution philosophy that I've ever read.

Simply put, for those of you who read this and don't know, Reductio ad Absurdum translates to "Reduction to the Absurd." The phrase is used to describe something when it becomes so ridiculous as to have lost all credibility. There seems to be a lot of that these days, doesn't there? From Climategate pretty much trashing every argument that has to do with manmade global warming to the idea that the ecomonic prosperity of a given country can be improved by taking from those who work and giving to those who do not.

Why, though, are we so given to the absurd that we believe such things? Are we mere sheep or cattle who react to the whims of a few ranchers, as Glenn Beck has pointed out on his television show? Are we robots that wait for commands from on high, as Nancy Pelosi seemed to think during the health care debate and rise of the Tea Party?

Because we only had a few sources of information back then, that's why.

For a long time, it seemed as though what is now known to be the minority view was in fact the majority. Much like Lenin and his Bolsheviks when they "seized the telegraph office" in what would become Soviet Russia, an ideological coup had taken place in our newsrooms and, more slowly, our schools and universities.

Even Hollywood, as witnessed by the great Ronaldus Maximus, had become a bastion for a particular ideology over the years, with movies bashing America becoming so common place that even those who paid attention, such as my mother, barely noticing anything wrong after a few years of the same tired old claptrap. In fact, up until recently, I wasn't even aware there were actors in Hollywood who DID support America in anything. I'm glad it turns out I was wrong.

Even as early as ten years ago, I never would have thought that a movie making fun of those on the left could ever make it past the planning stages in Hollywood, or that the works of an uberindividualist like Ayn Rand would see her greatest work, Atlas Shrugged, become a feature film.

What's different? Why the change in attitude, however small it might be? I'm not sure, but I hope to see more of it int he future.